Lake Coleman Safe? Water Board Member Shares his Thoughts

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Brown County Water Improvement District board member Johnny Hayes shared his thoughts on draining Lake Coleman on Facebook, “I’m pretty sure I couldn’t vote to do that,” wrote Hayes. Mr. Hayes also went on to write, “one can not make a release call based solely on seniority. The state owns the water and allows entities to capture and hold so much. So its TCEQs call.”

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Brown County resident Terry Wiseman doesn’t believe that’s the way the law was written. “The Texas Water Development Board has paperwork that anyone can access online that clearly states Lake Brownwood can require all upstream reservoirs to pass all inflows through. The document goes on and basically, to me says that we can have them release their water.”

This document may be viewed in its entirety here:

http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/contracted_reports/doc/0704830691_RegionF/PecanBayouReport.pdf

The issue has been a hot topic on social media the last few days, as the Examiner has received an abundance of comments. The bickering between residents of each county has even taken to the Brown County Vent Page on Facebook where it has become ugly at times. “I don’t think some of the people in Coleman County realize that I don’t want them to be without water, I have a solution for them. The city of Coleman uses about the same amount of water per day as the City of Brownwood has sewage. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t sell our sewer water back to Coleman. Of course Coleman would need to construct a pipeline or send water trucks for transport.”

Wiseman went on to say that by combining the volume of the two lakes in to one reservoir, evaporation would be greatly reduced, thus allowing the region’s water supply to be stretched farther. “In addition to reduced evaporation, the city of Brownwood would benefit financially by selling its waste water back to Coleman. It seems like a win-win scenario for all involved.”

The original story about the possibility of draining Lake Coleman was published on July 18th, if you missed it, you may access it here

Make sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook for more updates regarding Lake Coleman and Lake Brownwood at http://www.facebook.com/bwdexaminer/

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. j hays says:

    Let me clarify that: Legally we can make seniority calls. But TCEQ still has final say, even if the law would be on our side. However, remember a few years ago the senor rice farmers got cut off from junior highland lakes- which is in the courts by the way. And as a result TCEQ is trying to amend the laws.

    Also thanks for link to that study, But read it. The most available water for the region is scenario 1 which is the status quo. (sec 4.2.3), and the least is strict priority- but remember there are some downstream users (esp rice farmers) who could call seniority on us- although I think we could win in court after lots of $$$ over the bed to stream doctrine to stop far away request. 5 & 6 would offer greater volumes for Brownwood too. BUT these all devastate the lakes above us. And look at the graphs, we would not benefit much – it seems only in times of a few of the droughts. In conclusion: Lake Brownwood is not just Brownwood, water is a regional (universal) thing. This study proves that the status quo (no priority calls) is the most water available for the entire Pecan Bayou system. And I for one rather me and my neighbors have the most water available, not just my lake house.

    As for you evaporation point. True the less surface area, the less evaporation, so one would have to compare the surface areas of two bodies of water as various capacities with the same volume of water to determine the most efficient storage. Also add in lose in the stream bed and evaporation rates at the different locations, of course around here the further west the more evaporation.

  2. j hays says:

    oh and one last thing. one cannot make a call on water already stored in a lake, only the inflows

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